Celebrating ‘Sense & Sensibility’ ~ “Marianne as Heroine”

JASNA-Vermont celebrated in style this past Sunday at our annual Jane Austen Birthday Tea.  As always, a delicious repast of afternoon tea goodies catered by Champlain College with additional tasty holiday cookies by various JASNA members, made for a lovely afternoon of food and Austen conversation.

This year in celebration of the Bicentenary of Sense & Sensibility,  we welcomed Rebecca McLaughlin, lecturer at the University of Vermont, as she shared her insights on “A Second Chance for Sense and Sensibility ~ Marianne as Heroine.”

Marianne Dashwood 1995 - Kate Winslet

As part of the course offered at UVM Austen: Page and Film**, McLaughlin presented an interesting and insightful look at Sense and Sensibility from the standpoint of Marianne as the Heroine [which then of course makes Colonel Brandon the true Romantic Hero!, with which I heartily concur!], backing up all her views with text examples, scholarly interpretation, and film clips from the various adaptations.  This year we had the advantage of sitting at eight tables of eight with all engaged in lively discussion and much laughter as McLaughlin, in true college style, prompted us with questions and a quiz! *

those who dressed for the occasion!

I think all there would agree that it was one of our best teas to date, the table arrangement being a great hit and Rebecca’s presentation one to remember – I do know that she has certainly prompted many to re-read their S&S with renewed vigor and plan into the night movie marathons of all six film adaptations! *** and perhaps even sign up for her next class,  sure proof that Jane Austen is alive and well in Vermont!

The CAKE!

A thank you to all who so generously helped with baking and at the event – I could not do it without you, and mostly to Janeite Marcia for her work as Hospitality Maven, Treasurer and Keeper of the Mailing List! – and a hearty THANK YOU to Champlain College for their generosity in providing the room for us, and their superb catering team.  And finally, many thanks to Rebecca McLaughlin for sharing her love of Austen with us and making all feel like we were back in that ole’ college classroom, wondering whether to become English majors or not!

Alas! only a few pictures – with thanks to Janeite Margaret for adding to my very few taken – I need to remember to TAKE PICTURES at these things, especially of the Tea Table….

JASNA Members Hope and Marcia

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* Sense and Sensibility Quiz:
        [scroll to the end for answers, but no cheating!]

1.   What was the original title of the story that would become Sense and Sensibility?

a.       Reason and Emotion
b.       First Impressions
c.       Second Attachments
d.       Elinor and Marianne

2.    How old is the story that we now know of as Sense and Sensibility?

a.      200 years
b.      195 years
c.      216 years
d.      225 years

3.    Originally, the story was written in letters; this style of novel is known as which of the following?

a.            realist novel
b.            epistolary novel
c.            sensation novel
d.            epic novel

4.   Although revised from its original form, how many complete letters may be found within Sense and Sensibility?

a.            none
b.            three
c.            six
d.            ten

 5.   Which of the following is the narration style Austen uses in Sense and Sensibility?

a.            first-person narration
b.            third-person omniscient narration
c.            stream-of-consciousness narration
d.            all of the above 

6.   Which of the following characters notices that Edward is wearing a ring with a lock of hair in it when he visits Barton?

a.            Mrs. Dashwood
b.            Mrs. Jennings
c.            Marianne
d.            Elinor

 7.   How much is Colonel Brandon’s estate, Delaford, worth (in pounds)?

a.            2000
b.            1000
c.            600
d.            5000

8.   Which of the following represents Marianne’s favorite maxim, or saying, within Sense and Sensibility?

a.            always think of oneself first
b.            you can only love once
c.            money is everything
d.            nature is man’s place of worship

[S&S Quiz, @2011 Rebecca McLaughlin and printed with permission]

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**The course at UVM:  Austen: Page and Film will be offered online in the Summer 2012 semester.  Course description:

Women’s & Gender Studies: Austen: Page and Film [WGST 095 OL1 : 3 Credit Hours  ]

After nearly two centuries in print, Jane Austen’s works continue to enthrall us, whether in their original form or in the numerous television and film adaptations created since 1938. This course examines the role Austen played during her own time as well as the role she continues to play within our contemporary cultural imagination by analyzing four of Austen’s novels (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, MansfieldPark, and Emma) and by viewing faithful adaptations, reinterpretations and modernizations of each novel. We begin by placing each novel within its social and historical context, by defining themes that may help explain Austen’s modern appeal, and by creating our own vision of the action and characters. We then turn to the adaptations and investigate the historical moment of production, analyze changes to script and character, and think about how prose fiction differs from film in an attempt to understand the screenwriter’s choices and our current love of anything Austen. Course requirements include lively participation via blogs, reading quizzes, and a final written assignment. 

Instructor:  Rebecca McLaughlin, Lecturer, UVM Dept of English.
May 21, 2012 to June 29, 2012.  Location: Online Course

More information available at the UVM website.

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*** The Six film adaptations of Sense and Sensbibility:
                              [ visit the JASNA site for details ]

  • From Prada to Nada (2011)
  • Sense and Sensibility (2008):  Screenplay by Andrew Davies
  • Kandukondain Kandukondain (I Have Found It) (2000) – with English subtitles
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995): Screenplay by Emma Thompson
  • Sense and Sensibility (1980): BBC – Screenplay by Alexander Baron
  • Sense and Sensibility (1971): BBC – Screenplay by Denis Constanduros

*******************

Who is your favorite Colonel Brandon?

Colonel Brandon 1995 - Alan Rickman

Colonel Brandon 2008 - David Morrissey

Quiz answers:

  1. D
  2. C
  3. B
  4. C
  5. B
  6. C
  7. A
  8. B

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Upcoming post: Publishing Sense and Sensibility

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum, Jane Austen in Vermont

5 thoughts on “Celebrating ‘Sense & Sensibility’ ~ “Marianne as Heroine”

  1. What a wonderful event! I can feel the excitement, and almost taste the delicious cake. Thanks for a thorough write-up, and the informative quiz, Deb. The 1995 Emma Thompson version remains my favorite… Yes, may well be due to Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet. Marianne has the virtue of honesty, she never hides her feelings… and, Colonel Brandon is a saint. :)

    Like

    • Thanks Arti for your thoughts! and I agree that Emma Thompson’s version is near perfect, the cast making it so; but I have watched Davies’ version now several times and it has grown on me, in spite of his efforts to add some spice to the gentlemen and the Bronteesque settings… I guess we can appreciate the variety – what else would we have to talk about?!

      Like

  2. The tea was fabulous. And Rebecca’s presentation absolutely fascinating. Who could ask for more – great food, great conversation, and a truly educational afternoon.

    Regarding Alan Rickman: As Emma says so well,

    There cannot be two opinions about him. He is so superior.

    Like

    • Well, I guess you are clear on who YOUR favorite Col. Brandon is! – hard to deny Rickman the honor, isn’t it?

      Thanks Marcia for visiting and for being such a grand help for JASNA-Vermont – as I said, you are the Hospitality Maven, the treasured Treasurer, and the Keeper of the mailing list – I couldn’t do this without you!
      Deb

      Like

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